Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

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Sunday Musings 2/13/11

Sunday musings…

1) Vacation. I’m not really very good at taking a vacation. To be more exact, I’m not really very good at BEING on vacation. Once upon a time I actually took many weeks of vacation every year; I wasn’t very good at being on vacation then, either.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy being on vacation, it’s more that it simply takes me too long to realize that I’m actually on vacation. To relax. To be okay with doing exactly… nothing.

I am now day one back from yet another week of failure.

2) Courage. I read the letter from GruntDoc’s blog posted above. The soldier who sacrificed himself so that his comrade might live demonstrated HEROISM, the practical application of courage with a significant aspect of selflessness thrown in. Not too many people have an opportunity to actually do this. What is extraordinary, at least to me, is how frequently this occurs when folks are given the chance. I am awestruck and humbled every time I read one of these stories.

Courage doesn’t always need to be attached to heroism, however. Courage is also the willful refusal to give in to one’s fears. It matters not what others think of any particular fear; fear is intensely personal, as real as any object we might touch. Overcoming that fear, finally screwing up enough courage to move through, then past that fear, is significant and monumental. Always.

I was there last night when “Lovely Daughter” overcame one of her terrible fears. It doesn’t really matter what it was. I was there to witness a little tiny glory, the glory that comes when one finds the courage to win the battle agains fear.

3) The Valley. “… when you start hurting you’re not even CLOSE to the bottom of the valley, and if you don’t panic at the first agonies there’s much, much more of yourself to give.”–Sebastian Junger.

I’m having trouble pushing through the pain. In almost any physical endeavor, but most definitely in Crossfit, it’s necessary to go to a pretty dark place to get the full benefit of the enterprise. I’m having trouble going there recently. I’m not really sure why, to tell the truth. There’s really nothing all that different about today, or yesterday, or last month in comparison with three, four, or six months ago. Nothing different, except for the fact that I’m opening the door to that dark place, but I’m not walking through.

I’ll go there again, of that I am sure. The payback, the benefit, is simply too great to continue to turn back. Perhaps it is the solitude within which I have always traveled when passing through that dark place, or perhaps it is simply the duration of the solitude.

Something is missing, something not exactly like, but something seems like courage.

4) Sonhood. in a few moments I’ll be leaving the warmth and comfort chez bingo, off to attend yet another wake for the parent of a friends. I have reached that stage in life where my friends and acquaintances are losing parents.

That’s not all that’s lost, of course. When we lose a parent, especially when we lose that second parent, we also lose a significant part of who and what we all are. For me it will be losing the role of “Sonhood”. At some time I, you, we will all cease to be someone’s child. The age at which it occurs matters, of course, but in the end when you’ve lost your parents you have become an orphan.

Frankly, my own personal “sonhood” was much easier and much simpler when I was younger. Right up until about the age of 35 it really didn’t take all that much thought or effort. Some rebel, cut the cord, whatever, in their teen years, or even before. I managed to put off whatever rebellion I had in me until around the age of 35. And yet, despite the fact that being the son has actually been a greater challenge as an adult, I revel in the fact that I am still someone’s child.

I guess that’s the point of this, eh? It’s not Father’s Day or Mother’s Day, but it COULD be. Hard or easy, with or without the necessity of thought or planning, in most cases “Sonhood” (or “daughterhood”) is really one of those good things we have, those good things we are.

I’m sad for my friend and his loss, and I’m also a little sad that it sometimes takes something like this to remind me of my “sonhood”, to not take for granted that I am still someone’s child, to remind me to actively engage in being a son.

I’ll see you next week…

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